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Andre Onana appeared to indulge in a superstitious penalty ritual during Manchester United’s defeat to Copenhagen in Wednesday night’s Champions League match.
The goalkeeper had a difficult night at Parken as he conceded four – including a penalty from Diogo Goncalves – in a disappointing display for Erik ten Hag’s side, which saw them erase a two-goal lead after being reduced to ten men.
Marcus Rashford was shown a red card in the first half and a man down United struggled to hold on to the draw after a handball just before half-time Copenhagen equalized through a penalty.
While United took the lead again in the second half with a penalty of their own, teenager Roony Bardghij’s late glory saw Copenhagen beat England’s top opponents for the first time since 2006.
But while Fernandes’ penalty record meant he only missed five of the 55 penalties he appeared in, Onana at the other end of the pitch didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
Andre Onana chose to watch his own goal instead of watching Bruno Fernandes save Man United’s penalty on Wednesday evening
The goalkeeper had no reason to fear his captain’s impressive record from the spot as the Portugal international made it 3-2
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As if nervous about Fernandes’ chances in front of goal – as any fan might be – the Cameroon international was filmed by traveling fans looking in the opposite direction.
Instead of looking at his teammate, the 27-year-old is filmed staring unblinkingly into the thicket of visiting fans, choosing not to respond to their cheers of encouragement for Fernandes – or any attempts to get his attention to pull.
As the video circulated on social media, supporters light-heartedly poked fun at the still-statue keeper.
“Batteries empty,” one commenter wrote.
Another added: ‘It gives a feeling (of) when the teacher stops talking while the whole class is too loud and just stands around waiting.’
While it is unknown whether Onana suffered from nerves or was performing a lengthy ritual, the shotstopper was known to observe personal rituals in the past.
Onana wears a number 24 jersey as a nod to his roots as a number two goalkeeper after breaking through to Ajax’s senior team, behind then number 1 Jasper Cillessen.
After the departure of Cillessen and the subsequent promotion of Onana, the goalkeeper seized his opportunity, but had a difficult season in which Ajax finished second in the Eredivisie.
Onana had a difficult evening as he conceded four away goals – on penalties in the first leg at Old Trafford
Donning the number 24 again, Onana kept an impressive 26 clean sheets for his former club, raising questions about whether he could wear the jersey recently left behind by David de Gea at Old Trafford.
But Ten Hag will need his players to rely on more than just luck to see them through to the knockout stages of the Champions League after defeat in Denmark saw the Red Devils relegated to the bottom of Group A.
Man United will need to claim at least three points and hope Copenhagen and Galatasaray share the points after their meeting in the three-horse race for second place.
After winning against all three group opponents, Bayern Munich has already qualified for the knockout phase.
IT’S ALL GOING OFF!